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Improving Your Broadband Speed in the UK

One of the main reasons people choose broadband over dialup is that broadband is much faster.  This means if you are downloading videos from the internet, it can take a matter of seconds over a broadband UK connection, instead of the many minutes it takes to download the same video on a dialup connection. The main contributing factor to internet speed is your location.  The closer you are to your local telephone exchange the faster your broadband connection will be.  Your ability to download quickly will never get better, other than moving to a new house.  But, if your connection has become slower than average, there are a few tricks that you can try to speed it up.First, let’s look inside the computer.  Run at least two online speed checks to see what your current speed is.  Try downloading during the evening, when there are less people online.  Check the users on the network.  When multiple people in the house are online at the same time, it could reduce internet speed.  Is someone illegally taking your bandwidth?  Some programs may decrease the speed of the computer, such as file-sharing, BBC iPlayer, and various Windows updates.Moving to the outside of the computer, check for electrical interference.  Excessive use of phone extensions can reduce the line speed.  It has been reported by many people that removing the bell-wire from the master socket makes a significant improvement to download speeds.  A final tip would be to replace the house’s main master socket with a BT iPlate, which will filter interference and boost speed.

What You Need to Know About Broadband

If you have yet to take advantage of the services offered by broadband providers you may want to familiarise yourself with some facts.  Broadband is a high speed internet connection which allows you to access the World Wide Web.  The two most common types of usage involve connection either via copper wires from your local telephone exchange, known as ADSL, or via fibre optic cables laid underground.  Any of the various broadband UK providers will be able to tell you which service is available where you live.  96% of UK homes are now able to be connected, so the chances are you will be able to get online.If you happen to live in one of the few areas which aren’t connected, then it may be possible to obtain a mobile broadband signal which utilises mobile phone signals.  You don’t even need a phone line installed for this, so it may be worth your while to compare mobile broadband providers to see the deals on offer.  As broadband is a more up to date service than older dial up connections, it may not work if your computer is too old, so it is worth checking to see whether it has the required specifications.There are many different deals on offer from broadband providers, so it is wise to decide what you want to do online before undertaking a broadband comparison.  If you intend downloading large amounts of songs or videos, then look for a package without download limits or you may find the service isn’t enough for your needs.

Is Mobile Broadband a Better Option?

Mobile broadband is a relatively new innovation in the world of online communications.  Basically, it provides a way to access the internet wherever you might be, from a portable computer such as a laptop or a netbook, as long as you have connection to a mobile service.  This can be a great advantage to certain people, depending on your usage habits and professional requirements.Standard BroadbandTraditional broadband is wired into your home or office, and the computer is connected either by a cable or a wireless device to the home or office network.  For people who mainly use the internet at home or at work, this sort of connection is cost effective and meets all requirements for normal use.  Many broadband providers offer this kind of connection.Mobile BroadbandCompare mobile broadband offers before selection; mobile broadband is entirely different, as it operates in much the same way as a mobile phone, using the same service infrastructure.  A mobile broadband plan will normally include (or require you to purchase) a mobile modem, which is a small USB device (dongle) used to connect your computer to the internet.  This smaller version of the traditional modem allows you to connect to the internet from any location where you can receive a mobile phone signal.Plans tend to be offered by mobile phone companies instead of those you would approach for internet services, and they can seem a little pricey for a low download limit.  What you receive in return for this extra cost is freedom of movement.  With mobile broadband, UK users can work or surf the web on the move and it is an essential tool for those who travel extensively.

What You Need to Know About Mobile Broadband

In recent years the range of services offered within the broadband UK market has increased to include mobile broadband.  Whereas conventional broadband is intended for use within a single location and relies on cables to carry the signal, mobile broadband is designed for users who need to access the service anywhere a mobile signal is available.  The signals work along the lines of mobile phone technology, so if you have the right equipment you will be able to access the service anywhere a signal is available.If you want to compare mobile broadband packages then one thing to look for is the technology used to offer the service, as you will need to make sure it is compatible with your laptop.  Typically the signal is received by a mobile internet dongle, a USB stick, or a mobile data card, so check which is most suitable for your laptop.  As with any conventional broadband comparison you will want to check the speed of the service, any download limits there may be, contract length and, of course, the price.  It is worth noting that data transfer can sometimes be more expensive with mobile broadband and therefore you are more likely to reach or exceed download restriction limits.When comparing different offers from broadband providers you should note that one of the downsides of mobile broadband is that you are not guaranteed a signal, as you need to be in an area with reception.  On the plus side it is even worth considering for use within the home, especially if you don’t need a landline, as it will remove the cost of landline rental.

Low cost broadband packages – Plusnet Broadband

Plusnet Broadband is a broadband internet service provider located in the United Kingdom, with a focus primarily around providing the best value, and all around lowest cost for broadband service.  While their services and offerings range greatly like most every broadband company, Plusnet Broadband home service is well known for being a low cost leader, and is relatively untouched in this market segment of broadband service.  While their low cost plans are most notable, their presence in the high end market is not to be understated, with competitive offerings for high allowance, high speed services as well.A recent addition to Plusnet’s offerings, Plusnet Premium sells for £11.99 and offers 80 gigabyte usage at up to 20 megabit per second speeds.  While not truly “Unlimited”, for many users this plan provides a high speed and sufficient download cap at a very competitive price, and should be considered even by those interested in unlimited plans.Plusnet Broadband’s most notable service is known as “Plusnet Value”, an eight megabit per second connection with a 10 Gigabyte per month download allocation.  Priced at £5.99, it’s the least expensive true broadband service available.  However, despite being priced significantly lower, there still remain comparable services that are slightly more expensive, and immensely more powerful.  TalkTalk’s baseline plan offers up to 24 megabit per second data transfer rates with a 40 gigabyte per month download allocation for just £6.99, just one pound more than Plusnet.  All in all, Plusnet Value is the low cost leader, yet it still is by no means a perfect match for all buyers.

Virgin Media Broadband Deals and Packages

Virgin Media Broadband is a segment of the Telecommunications Company Virgin Media. This segment focuses on offering the best home and mobile broadband services, often pushing the envelope for emerging broadband technologies.  While Virgin is typically considered to be mid-priced with excellent extra features and bundled service discounts, their dedication to the cutting edge of technology often pushes their offerings above and beyond their competitors.  Those reviewing them have mixed reactions; however with each step forward in broadband speeds and services Virgin’s popularity quickly moves upward.The most notable package currently offered through Virgin Media Broadband is their new 50 Megabit broadband service.  Virgin is one of the only broadband companies currently offering this service, and they are currently able to do so at just £15 monthly as an introductory rate.  This service includes free unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines, and unlimited calling to Virgin mobiles.  In addition, there is absolutely no monthly download allowance.  This has become the ideal plan for both the heavy internet user, as well as anyone looking to streamline the total performance of their internet connection.With all new service agreements there exists a £35 set-up fee, and a significantly higher service price without a Virgin phone line.  This service is one of a kind, however these additional costs can quickly prove to be unacceptable to casual users that may quickly decide the service is not for them.  Regardless, this service is above and beyond all competitors, and should be considered by anyone who is already a Virgin subscriber.

Broadband in Home Entertainment

As more and more homes get high bandwidth, super fast broadband internet connections, an increasing amount of emphasis is being put on distributing media online. Most television stations run an online ‘catch up’ service where users can log on and stream or download recently broadcast television shows that they missed to their computers, something only made possible by broadband technology. A growing number of film rental companies are also allowing customers to stream new releases directly to their computers in high definition rather than rent a traditional DVD or Blu-ray movie. Online gaming is another entertainment medium which has benefited hugely from faster and more reliable internet connections. Popular game titles such as ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’ have sold in excess of 20 million copies worldwide purely because of the ability to play online, while MMO games such as ‘World of Warcraft’ only exist thanks to fast internet technology. Another major industry to benefit from broadband UK internet technology is online gambling, especially online poker. Along with Chris Moneymaker’s surprise World Series of Poker win and the popular film ‘Rounders’, faster and more reliable internet connections have been credited with getting more people playing poker via the internet and turning it into the multi billion dollar industry that it is today. However, faster internet connections have also proven a massive headache for entertainment companies because of the problem of piracy, where some broadband users illegally download songs, movies, software, books and games.

How to find the latest broadband deals

There are plenty of broadband deals out there, and broadband comparison websites can be very useful in narrowing down your selection options when you decide to move from dial-up to broadband or choose another provider.  Comparison websites sift through masses of information daily and present it in an easily understood format, highlighting any special offers and promotions.The advantages of having broadband are that you will always be online, are billed on a normally monthly, flat-rate basis and have much more choice when it comes to downloading movies, images and other virtual media.The other side of the coin in that you will need to set up other devices such as a fast modem, and you will also have to pay a fixed rate each month to use the service.  However, these are minor considerations when compared to the advantages of broadband.Obtaining broadband can alter your life.  You will be able to check bank balances, transfer money without leaving the house, order cinema or theatre tickets, book train tickets, load maps to find directions, and much more.  Dial-up always causes worry about the time it costs being online, but this is no longer a consideration with a fixed-rate broadband connection, and you can also achieve major savings on phone bills by using any one of the free telephony services available when you have broadband.Find broadband deals on broadband comparison websites and change your life for the better.

Business broadband in the UK

Business broadband falls into a special category when it comes to choosing broadband providers and categories.  Most of us when deciding compare broadband providers will use broadband comparison websites to obtain an idea of what is on offer.  However, deciding on business broadband, with its multitude of special requirements, will probably entail bringing in a consultant to discuss all the complex issues.The main requirements of business broadband are robustness, speed, security and support, with cost being also a priority but this is balanced against the level of service. In terms of security, any business is prone to viruses and hackers, but the potential cost of these is somewhat more serious when it comes to business integrity than that of the home user.  A leak of the personal details of customers could have devastating consequences, for example.  Therefore, the levels of security offered by business broadband packages will be far higher than in their domestic counterparts.Support is also a major factor in business broadband, with an engineer on call at all times to get the system up and running again in the event of a shutdown.  Service level agreements will be in place that guarantees a solution within a certain period and often has remote support so the engineer does not always have to come on site, which takes time and therefore costs more in terms of lost business.There may be a number of optional extras that the business could take advantage of, and a flexible package may often be preferred.

How to pick your broadband provider

When seeking out a new broadband provider in the UK you will be faced with a myriad of providers both old and new, as well as information about these providers and their offerings online.  Broadband UK and other listing services provide up to date information about these service providers however their information may not always be complete.  To be certain that the best information is procured, a few simple steps should be taken first.First and foremost, when searching through a Broadband UK services directory, the reader will be given a link that takes them directly to a company’s website.  These directories are excellent resources for matching specific coverage areas to the providers that offer services there.  While the company’s website may not be the most objective source for information about the service, it’s certainly an excellent source for availability of information.While the company may not put their most desperate face forward online, on the telephone it’s often a different story.  With 95% of homes in the UK now connected to some sort of broadband service, it is impossible for modern broadband service providers to grow naturally and organically.  The only growth these firms can expect is through stealing market share from one another, and while these firms would like to generate as much profit per customer as possible, the stubborn customers are still important.  A savvy enquirer can often ask for and receive exclusive deals that are sometimes reserved only for those threatening to cancel their services.

First person on 100 Mbps fibre trial

The BT owned ISP Plus Net has begun its trial of BT’s fast fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) with the first customer achieving speeds of 77 Mbps download and 15 Mbps upload. The customer also reported a 100% stable connection via the company’s blog. The customer from Milton Keynes is the first in a trial of about a dozen to receive the blisteringly fast internet service with 40,000 houses participating in the BT Wholesale experimental service. Other areas to benefit include Leeds and Bournemouth where a provider is rolling out FTTC lines to multi-tenanted offices. Unlike DSL, FTTC does not use any copper. An engineer will connect fibre from the cabinet directly into the home, preventing the distance based degradation of signal often experienced with copper connections. Almost all current land-based broadband services use copper in some way or the other. ADSL is the classic example – broadband is delivered over decade-old phone lines, the quality of which can have a big impact on the service. Even BT’s current fibre service uses copper from the street corner box to the home, and so does Virgin Media broadband. Rivals for the FTTC service include Virgin Media broadband and BT Infinity, both of which use fibre to the street corner but who uses copper from the street corner to the home. Virgin Media broadband currently offers 50 Mbps services but plans to roll out 100 Mbps speeds later this year. Virgin Media broadband is not really affected by copper quality, because of the better structure of cable wires, so FTTC is not essential for Virgin Media broadband to offer exceptional speeds.